Australia says return of French ambassador to aid repair of bilateral relationship By Reuters

© Reuters. Australian International Minister Marise Payne arrives at United Nations headquarters in New York on September 21, 2021. John Minchillo/Pool by way of REUTERS

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By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia’s International Minister Marise Payne mentioned on Thursday the return of France’s ambassador to Canberra will assist restore relations between the 2 international locations which had been broken when Australia cancelled a $40 billion submarine contract.

Australia final month walked away from a take care of France’s Naval Group to construct a fleet of typical submarines and can as a substitute construct a minimum of eight nuclear-powered submarines with U.S. and British expertise after putting a trilateral safety partnership with these two international locations.

The cancellation angered France, which accused each Australia and the USA of stabbing it within the again and Paris recalled its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington.

France mentioned on Wednesday that Jean-Pierre Thebault would return to Canberra however didn’t set a date.

“We are going to work with France to maneuver ahead with our relationship. We recognise this can take time and ongoing engagement following our submarine determination. The return of the Ambassador is a welcome step on this course of,” Payne mentioned in an announcement.

In solidarity with France, the EU final week postponed the subsequent spherical of talks with Australia over a free commerce deal.

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